LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The former Clark County public administrator charged with murder claims other jail inmates are trying to coerce him to confess as he spends most of the day alone in a cell, handwritten court documents said.
Robert Telles, 46, is charged with murdering Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German in September 2022. He is representing himself in court.
Prosecutors accuse Telles of targeting German because of articles he was writing about problems in the court administrator’s office. German was found stabbed to death on Sept. 3 outside his home in the northwest valley, near Tenaya Way and Vegas Drive.
Detectives said they found Telles’ DNA under German’s fingernails, the 8 News Now Investigators first reported shortly after his arrest.
In handwritten court paperwork, Telles asks a court to force the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which administers the Clark County Detention Center, to place him into a cell where he can have access to legal research.
According to Telles, “he receives on average [a] half an hour out per day.”
After his arrest in September, police brought Telles to University Medical Center for self-inflicted injuries, documents said. Telles was then “placed under constant watch due to mental health concerns,” lawyers for Metro and Sheriff Kevin McMahill wrote in their response to Telles’ request, saying he does not have a constitutional right to a specific housing unit.
In January, jail officials moved Telles into the general population, documents said. During this time, Telles said an inmate attempted to get him to confess to German’s murder.
“After a couple of weeks, [the inmate] pressed and harassed defendants for a false confession,” Telles wrote in court documents.
“He would not name the other inmate,” Metro lawyers wrote in their response. “He alleged this inmate was coercing him to confess and claimed the inmate took some of his personal papers out of his cell. Due to this, defendant was placed back into protective custody for his own safety.”
Metro said Telles does not have a right to access the law library and is in the specific jail unit for his safety, documents said.
“Unfortunately, inmates who are exposed in the media are often a target by other inmates,” lawyers for Metro said. “Defendant’s case has been in the media since he was arrested for murder. As such, [the Detention Services Division] is taking all measures to ensure Defendant’s safety.”
Telles’ trial is set to begin on Nov. 6, 2023.
During an interview with 8 News Now Investigator Vanessa Murphy last month, Telles said he was framed. During an interview with 8 News Now Investigator David Charns in September, Telles refused to discuss German’s death.